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  • In many hamlets within southern Colorado, New Mexico and northern Mexico, a cult of Roman Catholic flagellants, Penitente, is active, its rites culminating each year just before Easter as one of the members from each village is chosen by lot to be crucified in the manner of Christ, and this exceptional film interlaces actions occurring from its scenario with this pious event. Raul Julia portrays Ramon Guerola, a devout penitent whose young bride Celia (Rona Freed) remains a virgin because of fear, but who is strongly attracted to Ramon's lifelong friend Juan Mateo (Armand Assante), newly released from prison and now visiting his compadre, and a romantic conflict which arises over Celia will be decided at last upon the cross. This is actor and acting teacher Cliff Osmond's only film as director, and it is simply splendid in every respect, with his screenplay spare and dramatically nuanced, and actors as strongly idiosyncratic as Julia and Assante being skillfully guided; a salutary score is contributed by Alex North and the work is deftly edited by Peter Taylor.
  • visionseas11 January 2006
    I enjoyed this movie years ago, but it's so obscure that few know of it.

    I witnessed this activity depicted in this movie first hand while in Taxco , Mexico.....very dramatic! The local people here wear hoods over their heads and carry heavy splintered logs across their bare backs. While walking through the streets like this, other townspeople throw stones at them, some dressing like Romans during the time of Jesus. The ones doing penitents volunteer for this, as they feel that doing so will increase their chances of being accepted and forgiven by God after they die. I have always like Raul and Armand Assante. I thought these 2 actors played off of each other well. I also enjoyed the setting of the movie being in Mexico, as it is beautiful to film in.
  • In this" MOVIE Paul JULIA plays the" ROLE of aFARMer in New MEXICO who CONverts To ApriMItive and" BRUTal' Cathodic" CULT in That" THE *subPORTers* ARE HAPpy" to SACRIfice hu'mans and" CRUcify CORPSes.